Want to use a drone on your farming operation but aren’t sure where to start? Agrible has a new iOS app to help with that, says Cynthia Bruno, chief strategy officer.
Pocket Drone Control is new software technology that syncs with Crop Copter’s Phantom 4 Pro to quickly scout for crop damage following a weather event or pest flair-up forecast by Agrible’s Morning Farm Report.
Pocket Drone Control uses farm boundaries that the farmer sets up in Morning Farm Report to plan a flight and launch the drone with just a few swipes on an iPhone or iPad, explains Matt Barnard, Crop Copter chief executive officer. Phantom 4 Pro can cover an 80-acre field in less than 15 minutes with one battery.
BIRD’S-EYE VIEW: “Pocket Drone Control makes it super easy to use a drone,” says Cynthia Bruno with Agrible. “It gives farmers, insurance agents and retailers a bird’s-eye view of fields to confirm damage and have access to that information immediately after the mission is complete.”
After the mission is complete, users can quickly view and classify wind, hail, disease, insect, herbicide-drift or flood damage on their mobile device. The app uses common land units (CLUs) to create a photo-grid system for quantifying the damaged acres, Barnard says, which helps save time and improves accuracy for reporting damage to retailers, insurance agents or company representatives.
The data saves to the user’s Morning Farm Report account without the cloud or an internet connection. Any team members with access to the farmer’s Morning Farm Report account will have instant access to the captured information.
Pocket Drone Control links with special Morning Farm Report accounts, with access to the air and space module, and is bundled with Phantom 4 Pro from Crop Copter. Farmers new to Morning Farm Report will pay roughly $6,000 for the Crop Copter Agribundle, which includes two years of service, the Phantom 4 Pro, cloud storage and more. Crop Copter plans to offer Pocket Drone Control with more drone models later this year, Barnard notes.
SYSTEM APPROACH: Pocket Drone Control and Phantom 4 Pro make it easy for farmers to use drones for agronomic decisions. “This is for anyone who wants an entry-level ship with a self-contained system that provides the ability to scout by sub-acre and move forward with that information,” says Matt Barnard, CEO of Crop Copter.
In the beginning
How did the Crop Copter and Agrible partnership start? Barnard and Bruno agree the common goal was to create a seamless solution for removing guesswork from agricultural drone use and to help farmers make timely assessments and decisions based on Morning Farm Reports’ predictions.
Bruno notes Crop Copter’s extensive training initiatives, personal customer support and firsthand farm knowledge were important to Agrible’s development team.
“We wanted to take the difficulty out of drones,” she says. “And it felt right to partner with another central Illinois company.”
Pocket Drone Control will soon be available on iTunes. Farmers can visit cropcopter.com or agrible.com for more information. Barnard adds that Parkland College in Champaign now offers unmanned aerial system training and Part 107 certification, which is required to fly a drone for commercial use legally.